Simply Delicious Skewers Are The Star At Shiki Sushi & Yakitori

The White Plains restaurant offers a tranquil escape from the holiday bustle.

Holiday shoppers pausing for fortification might do well to consider the Japanese custom of the pre-commute yakitori and beer. Shiki Sushi & Yakitori, which opened eight months ago in the heart of White Plains, is one of the few area restaurants specializing in these skewers (yakitori means “grilled bird,” which through years of taboos and commerce in Japan came to be synonymous with grilled chicken—read some great 411 here.)

Lover roll: tuna, avocado, and crunch with spicy mayo 

Japanese families populated the neat, attractive dining room at lunch. Fifteen choices of yakitori, three bites per skewer ($1.95 to $3.95), include several iterations of the bird (chicken with shishito peppers, chicken meatballs, chicken with scallions), two kinds of steak, numerous vegetables (asparagus, shiitake, okra), and bacon-wrapped scallops, quail egg, and asparagus. Bacon-wrapped scallops might be gilding the lily but are tasty morsels (three is plenty); well-seasoned vegetables upstaged the chicken. To drink, cold Kitaya Junmai Daijingo sake is the restaurant’s top pick—or, if you prefer, an ice-cold Sapporo.

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Salmon ikura don, a bargain of a lunch special at $11.50, included soup or salad, cold soba noodles with dipping sauce, and a large bowl of rice topped with silky, sweet, lip-smacking salmon sashimi and salmon roe that beat out what I’d had at Haiku and elsewhere. Winter noodle specials (such as nabeyaki udon, one of my favorite dishes) and standard kitchen and sushi bar fare are on the menu, and omakase sets featuring both yakitori and sashimi are reasonably priced for this sort of thing at $35 (five courses) and $55 (seven courses). I couldn’t resist ordering the heart-shaped Lover Roll (tuna, avocado, and crunch with spicy mayo), well made and adorable but a bit complicated for me—continuous refills of green tea are the way to my heart. Relaxing into such a meal after a flurry of holiday shopping, it’s easy to forget the 1-hour limit on the parking meters right outside the door. While rare, it wasn’t my first parking ticket (ouch) in the line of duty, nor likely to be my last. 

Shiki Sushi & Yakitori
187 Main St
White Plains
(914) 288-0070 
www.shikiyakitori.com

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